UN microblogging. The rise of twitter.

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Twitter has been non-stop in the news lately. According to EDUCAUSE we could consider Twitter as an on-line application which is part blog, part social network application and part mobile phone/IM tool. Users update on a regular base their network in 140 charachters on their projects, ideas, experiences, thoughts, …  and it this way Twitter creates a interconnected network of users. People either access it through the internet or through their mobile phone.  Organizations start to pick up twitter as a tool for external communication, public relations and continuous dialogue with their stakeholders. Development organisations use it to promote their mission statement. A series of UN agencies (UNHCR, UNDP, FAO, IAEA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNODC, UNESCO, WFP, UN Staff College, UNITAR)  are already involved and other organizations do so too  (World Bank, OECD).  The Web2forDev site identifies microblogging as a useful tool for internal knowledge sharing.


To move beyound external communication and information sharing it could be interesting to see what added value Twitter can bring to a learning organisation:

– Introduce twitter in lectures where participants twitter their main reflections on the topic which can be highlighted on the front screen (the format forces you to formulate your thinking concise and clear in less than 140 characters). In this way participants who were not able to come to the session can also follow from a distance.
– Use twitter as a brainstorming tool in a session, either using internet or mobile phones)
– Get subject matter experts connecting to each other and follow each other’s updates in a specific field (case: there is a database of more than 1000 learning specialists on twitter

Any other ideas?

Background info:
Educause on Twitter
How do you use Twitter to collaborate?

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Tom Wambeke
Tom Wambeke

Interesting reflection on the use of Twitter in Development Organisations: http://www.crisscrossed.net/2010/04/27/twitter-analysis-development-organizations-and-their-listening-skills/